April 25, 2004

Where's My Thermos?

Snapshots In My Time, Of My Time.....Hauntings.

Kindergarden. Somewhere between 1963-1965.

I have a metal lunch box with a thermos that I carry everyday. (It has been too long and I do not recall what character.) I love my lunchbox and my thermos. Compared to most of the lunchboxes the other children carry, mine is the newest, most expensive, "in" lunch box and thermos to have. I have been carrying this lunch box since August and I have had it for several months. Last Friday afternoon my mom picked me up from kindergarden--yup.. me and my lunchbox. We were just fine. I usually carry milk in my thermos and in the winter I sometimes have warm tomato soup.

Yesterday-Sunday afternoon, my father was getting ready to pack my lunch for today. He stood at the kitchen sink washing out my thermos as I watched. I had to stand guard over my thermos. I always did. Sometimes adults break things. My father unscrewed the lid and then unscrewed the lip that was used for drinking. He then lifted out the silver glass container and placed it in the soapy water in the sink to soak. That silver container has a pointed tip at the end that stablizes it once all put together again. I felt good. It would soon be dried and filled with milk and placed in the refrigerator with my sandwich in my metal lunch box.

My father washed it with a baby bottle scrubber. He pushed the scrubber inside and moved it all around to scrub out any food remains from last week. All of a sudden I heard a "bonk" in the bottom of the sink. It was the silver glass container. The point on the silver glass container had broken off. I was young and did not realize the reality of it all until later--this morning in fact. My father said that the point had broken off. I knew he could fix it. He was my father. He could do anything. Mom called me and I was off to bath and to bed.

Earlier this morning as my father drove me to kindergarden, I remember being belted in with my metal lunch box beside me. Kindergarden was about 8 city blocks away from our house. When we were about 3 blocks away I remember the "bonk" in the kitchen sink and open my cool metal lunch box just to check my thermos. My thermos was not there. Instead I saw a blue and white checked thermos that I have never seen before. The world had come to an end and immediately my father knew it.

I screamed and cried at the top of my lungs. All I could repeat was, "where's my thermos?" Over and over again I screamed this. I screamed this all the way to front door of the kindergarden. I was so distraught with grief I refused to get out of the car. I did not have all I needed to go to school that day. There was no way I was using that thermos. My tantrum continued on for 15 mintes. I was beyond consoling. My father tried telling me that it was just a thermos and that any thermos would do to hold your milk. Had he lost his mind?

My thermos did not match my metal lunch box. It was not the same and the world would never be the same. I refused to carry that thermos. I refused to go to school as I did not have my thermos. There was such a commotion going on at the front door that the head of the kindergarden finally came out to help my father. She had lost her mind as well. Finally my father told me he would get me a new lunch box and thermos just like the one I had when he got off from work today. I carried my lunch box with no thermos of milk to drink. My father had secretly passed it to the kindergarden head without me seeing. I thought it was in the car with him. I was still crying and hitching as I walked inside.

I was upset the whole day. Lunch time came and I opened my metal lunchbox and took out my sandwich. The kindergarden teacher asked me if i wanted something to drink. I told her yes but I did not have anything that day because my thermos was broken. She then disappeared and reappeared with what looked like the blue and white checked thermos my father had placed in my lunch box this morning. I became hysterical again. Finally she took it away and got me some water.

My mother picked me up and I told her what mean thing dad had done to me. I waited on him to get home. He promised to take me to the store to buy a new lunchbox just like the one I already had. He did. We went to GEX and looked. There was not a single lunchbox or school related item to be found. My father did ask the clerk about the lunch boxes and she said that school supplies/lunchboxes are only in store at the beginning of the school year-when everyone is buyng them. Once they sell out they do not get anymore in and the models for next year will most likely be different.

So here I sit in the back seat of the car totally crushed and all too aware that I will have to carry that blue and white checked thermos from now on. I realize that even when you stand guard sometimes adults break things and those things can never be replaced. Silently my mind is still racing and yelling, "Where's my thermos?"

My lunchbox will no longer the the newest, most expensive, "in " lunchbox to have.


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